Where to go in Switzerland in November?

Where to go in Switzerland in November?

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arafael86
arafael86
6 posts
new member
Sep 5, 2016 - 11:18 PM

My wife, 2 year old daughter and I will be traveling to Switzerland for 6 nights/seven days during the first week of November. I recently read that November is not an ideal month to visit the Alps due to the weather and the shutting down of a lot of things, but it was the only time that we could fit a vacation into our schedules. Our goals are to spend the majority time seeing Switzerland's nature, doing some light hiking/excursions and getting a taste of Swiss cities. Our initial plan was to spend 2 nights in Lucerne, 2 nights in Wengan and 2 nights in Zermatt or Lausanne. I recently read that Wengan shuts down during November and it will be a "ghost town". Is it recommended to replace Wengan with Interlaken? Also, does anyone think it would make more sense to stay in one location for the whole trip and travel around doing day trips to the various places in order to avoid the hassle of checking out and in 3 times and lugging our luggage around. Lastly, are there any excursions in the OB area that are recommended in November? We do not plan to go above 2,000 ft in elevation because we are traveling with our daughter.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Sep 6, 2016 - 5:48 AM in reply to arafael86

Hi Arafael -

Welcome to My Swiss Alps. Nice to hear that you can find some time to get to Switzerland, even if it is not at the height of the tourist season.

There is still plenty to do in November, and, at lower elevations, it may be cold, but there will not be much snow. So, Luzern and the lake make a lot of sense.

Check out the links under:

www.myswissalps.com/ab outswitzerland/nature

<<"Lastly, are there any excursions in the OB area that are recommended in November? We do not plan to go above 2,000 ft in elevation because we are traveling with our daughter."

Lauterbrunnen is at 795 meters (strictly M.ü.M - Meter über Meereshöhe, meters above sea level), Wengen at 1274 meters, and Zermatt is around 1700 meters. Multiply by 3.28 to get approximate altitude in feet.

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=ech&lang=en&bgLa &bgLayer=ch.swisstopo. pixelkarte-farbe&layers=ch.bav.ha ltestellen-oev,ch.swisstopo.swiss tlm3d-wanderwege&layers_visi bility=false,true&X=16 2120.00&Y=636380.00&zo om=6

Interlaken and the lakes (Brienz and Thun) are around 560 meters.

Luzern and its lake, Zürich and its lake, and Geneva and its lake are at about 435, 410 and 375 meters.

Here is information about Luzern and the central part of Swtzerland:

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

www.myswissalps.com/ce ntralswitzerland

You will not be able to visit any significant part of the Bernese Oberland, or Zermatt, if your limit is 2000 feet.

This mountain restaurant at Hammetschwand, on top of the Bürgenstock peninsula near Luzern

map.geo.admin.ch/?topic=ech&lang=en&bgLa yer=ch.swisstopo.pixel karte-farbe&layers=ch.bav.ha ltestellen-oev,ch.swisstopo.swiss tlm3d-wanderwege&layers_visi bility=false,false&X=2 09040.00&Y=670220.00&z oom=5

in the attached images is at approximately 1100 meters. It is closed in November.

The top of the Rigi at 1797 meters is just visible at the right of the last picture

Perhaps you mean 2000 meters, not 2000 feet?

Slowpoke

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Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 6, 2016 - 6:14 AM in reply to arafael86

Hi arafael86,

2500 m (8200 ft) is a safe limit for children under 2 years old. Be sure to check the timetable for cableways you intend to use, to be sure they operate in November.

arafael86
arafael86
6 posts
new member
Sep 6, 2016 - 3:03 PM in reply to Slowpoke

Thank you so much for the information. You were right, I meant 2,000 M. After discussing the trip with my wife, we decided that we want to spend the majority of the time hiking. We looked at the sample itinerary that the site provides for hiking for 7 days. We may decide to do that with some slight modifications. The questions I have are

1) since Wengan will pretty much be shut down, could we use Lucerne or somewhere else as our base for the first half of the trip and

2) since the weather may not be ideal, would do this itinerary still be advisable?

arafael86
arafael86
6 posts
new member
Sep 6, 2016 - 3:05 PM in reply to arafael86

I should also mention that we would love to see some snow as it will be my daughters first time!

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 6, 2016 - 4:53 PM in reply to arafael86

1) Lucerne and Interlaken would work, and many other towns too as long as they're not in the mountains (unless you like things to be very quiet).

2) Not really. The suggested itinerary is best from mid June to mid October (see the page). You can hike all year round, but you should count on being limited to lower altitudes in November. You can find all kind of trails on our hiking page.

arafael86
arafael86
6 posts
new member
Sep 7, 2016 - 3:24 AM

Thank you so much for the info. I think we will take your advice and do 3 nights in Montreaux and 3 nights in Lucerne. We leave on the 7th day from Zurich at 9am so it makes sense to stay in Lucerne the second half of the trip. Some places we would like to see are Zermatt, the Oberland region and Bern. Is there a certain order you recommend us visiting these places? Is there anywhere you would recommend visiting that are around the lucerne or Montreaux areas? We would also like to do some scenic train rides. Could you recommend any?

Thanks!

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 7, 2016 - 10:58 AM

Hi arafael86,

My suggestion would be to travel from Zurich to Spiez or Interlaken via the Golden Pass line on the first day. This takes about 6 hours so you would need to start early. Either of these towns will make a better base for day trips to Bern, the Berner Oberland and Zermatt (pretty far but doable). Then move to Lucerne via the remainder of the Golden Pass line.

Last modified on Sep 7, 2016 - 11:07 AM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Sep 8, 2016 - 6:57 AM in reply to Arno

Hi Arno-

Could you expand on that routing a bit?

I'm uncertain what part of the Golden Pass route you are suggesting for the first day:

<<"My suggestion would be to travel from Zurich to Spiez or Interlaken via the Golden Pass line on the first day.">>

I understand going from Interlaken to Luzern on the the part of the Golden Pass Route, which, if I recall correctly, is called the Luzern-Interlaken Express:

<<"Then move to Lucerne via the remainder of the Golden Pass line.">>

I see that the section of the Luzern-Interlaken Express between Giswil and Alpnach Dorf will have a substitute bus ( ersatz bus) during November. ( See attached screen grab.)

Slowpoke

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Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 8, 2016 - 7:30 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Hi Slowpoke,

Sorry, that was not clear indeed, I should have added "via Montreux". So Zurich - Montreux - Zweisimmen - Spiez. That way arafael86 gets a scenic train ride while also staying in a town suitable for the intended day trips. Then proceed to Lucerne via the route you mentioned. Even with a bus ride it would be worth it I think.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Sep 8, 2016 - 7:41 AM in reply to Arno

<<"Sorry, that was not clear indeed, I should have added "via Montreux". So Zurich - Montreux - Zweisimmen - Spiez. ">>

Quite a nice tour through the Mitteland as well as some alpine regions. The section of the Golden Pass Route just above Montreux is really nice, with the views out over the lake, and the vineyards will probably be nice to look at, even in November..

I used to ride part of that route ( that is, Geneva - Lausanne- Bern- Zürich ) on a regular basis when I was working near Geneva and traveled to the German-speaking region on weekends. I never got tired of looking out the window.

Slowpoke

arafael86
arafael86
6 posts
new member
Sep 8, 2016 - 1:40 PM

Thanks again for all the info! We just booked our hotels in Montreux and Lucerne. We are staying in Montreux for our first three nights and Lucerne for the last three nights. Is there a train ride that is recommended fromZurich to Montreux? We have a 10 hour flight to Zurich, so I imagine we will be anxious to get to our hotel and will not be looking for a long scenic ride. Once in Montreux we plan to tour Chillon, walk the lakeside promenade and possibly visit Vevey. We are considering doing a day trip to Zermatt, but wanted to see if it is even worth doing it with our daughter since Gornergrat and Klein Matterhorn are both above the maximum recommended elevation of 2,000 M for her. Would it still be worthwhile to visit Zermatt. We are more interested in seeing the Matterhorn than visiting the town of Zermatt.

We plan to take the Golden Pass from Montreux to Lucerne. In Lucerne we plan on doing a day trip to Mount Titlis and Mount Pilatus. We would also like to spend a day visiting Bern.

Would you recommended getting the Swiss Travel Pass for this trip, and if so the 4 or 8 day?

Thanks!

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
2657 posts
expert
Sep 8, 2016 - 3:03 PM in reply to arafael86

<<"We have a 10 hour flight to Zurich, so I imagine we will be anxious to get to our hotel and will not be looking for a long scenic ride.">>

Yes - start in Luzern. Frequent quick rail access from Zürich Flughafen. More on that detail in the timetable.

You may not even have any issues with your hotel reservations, becuse you could probably adjust them or exchange them for different dates. And, in November, hotels are glad for any customers thatthey can get.....

A train with no changes goes once per hour takes about 1 hour. Other trains in between , with change at Zürich main station.

www.myswissalps.com/ti metable

Check the comments on the first page of that link for some info on using the timetable..

This map may help you orient your self:

map.search.ch/?pos=751744,206976&z=1

Slowpoke

Arno
Arno
7722 posts
expert &
moderator
Sep 9, 2016 - 7:27 AM in reply to arafael86

Hi arafael86,

Personally I would not make the long day trip from Montreux to Zermatt without being able to include a trip to one of the peaks. As for the pass: the 8-day Swiss Travel Pass will be the most convenient option by far. It even includes Chillon castle for free. The 4-day version does not make sense unless you plan to do very little traveling on your first and last day. The Swiss Half Fare Card may work too, but you would have to do the math in order to compare total spendings. The links I included provide lots of additional information. Note that your hotel will offer you free traveling in Montreux, but only in a limited area: myswissalps.com/ montreux/hotels.

Last modified on Sep 9, 2016 - 7:28 AM by Arno

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